J. William Fulbright
holds the record as the longest-serving chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee (15 years, from 1959 to 1974), but Carl Marcy served for 18 years as the committee's chief of staff (from 1955 to 1973). For most of that time their service overlapped, and Marcy's recollections are in large part the story of Fulbright's impact on the committee during the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It was a period in which the bipartisan consensus in foreign policy unraveled and the gap between Congress and the White House widened steadily, most notably over the war in Vietnam. No longer completely trusting the executive branch as a source of information, the committee expanded its staff during Marcy's tenure as chief of staff and pursued more vigorous oversight of the policy makers.